Ways to Lose Child Custody

Your ex-spouse has custody of the children, but you think their safety is at risk due to her drug abuse. Maybe you are concerned about the kids’ father, who neglects the children when they are in his custody.

Child custody decisions are not permanent. While the courts do not necessarily want to take children away from their parents, their priority is to ensure the children are safe. If their parents are not properly caring for them, then their health and safety is at risk and custody arrangements may need to be changed.

How exactly can a parent lose custody of their child? There are several ways.

Child Neglect

Children need to receive proper care. This includes making sure they have clean clothes, food, shelter and adult supervision. When a parent leaves a young child home alone, does not provide them with food or clothes or does not make them attend school, then they could lose custody.

Child Abuse

If you are physically or sexually abusing your child, then you could lose custody. Even physical discipline may be seen as child abuse, so make sure you don’t cross the line. Emotional abuse, such as yelling at or constantly putting down your child, can also be considered child abuse. Also, don’t allow anyone else to abuse your child. As a parent, you have an obligation to keep your child safe or you could lose custody.

Substance Abuse

Excessive alcohol or drug use is a common reason why parents lose custody of their children. When you’re under the influence of these substances, you cannot properly care for your child. Likewise, if you’re spending all your money on drugs or alcohol, then you have no money to buy your child what he or she needs, such as food and clothing.

Mental Illness

If you develop a mental illness, then chances are, you may not even be able to care for yourself, let alone your children. If you do have a psychiatric condition, make sure you are treating it. If you’re not taking medications or attending therapy as required, then you could be deemed a threat to your child.

Lack of Adequate Housing

You don’t need to live in a mansion. You don’t even need to own a home. However, you do need to keep your child in a clean and safe shelter. Living in a car does not qualify. Neither does living in squalor. You can live in a motel room or stay with relatives, but don’t subject your child to dirty and unsafe conditions that could impact their health.

Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

Even if you have gained custody of your children in a divorce, you could lose it based on your actions. The courts want what’s best for children, so you need to act like the best parent possible if you want to retain custody.

Family law can be a complicated matter. Learn more about physical and legal custody by contacting the Columbia child custody lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We have the experience to help you get the best outcome for your case. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.




Recent Posts



Anne Arundel County

Empire Towers
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone: 410-766-0113

Fax: 410-766-0270

Howard County On the grounds of Columbia Mall

30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Suite 900
Columbia, MD 21044

Phone: 410-964-0050

Baltimore County (Arbutus/Catonsville)

Phone: 410-719-7377

Fax: 410-766-0270